Think Chicago started as a 1970’s musical? Think again! The original play by Maurine Watkins was filmed twice before it was ever a musical, once as a silent and once as a talkie. Juicy though the story of murderesses and corruption was, the behind-the-scenes action was just as intriguing.
More Bolshevik trash talk from the one and only William Boyd, aka Hopalong Cassidy. In case you didn’t already notice, I find this casting to be infinitely amusing.
The setup is as follows: Aristocrat Elinor Fair thinks William Boyd’s muscly peasant is pretty easy on the eyes. Her fiance, Victor Varconi, realizes this is true and, spurred by jealousy, messes with Mr. Boyd’s face. Boo! I mean, Boyd doesn’t end up like Gwynplaine or anything but still!
In any case, the “Our blood now, your blood later” thing is some splendidly over-the-top threatening!
Cecil B. DeMille was known to use… odd romantic gestures in his films. In this case, Elinor Fair is groovin’ to some boatman music supplied by William Boyd and her fiance, Victor Varconi, is jealous. So what does he do? Make his hands into earmuffs, of course. And she is fine with it. In fact, she thinks it’s pretty wonderful.
The Volga Boatman is stuffed with moments like this, which is why I love it so.
Cecil B. DeMille directs a movie about the Russian Revolution. It’s everything you could possibly hope for. That could be my entire review.